R4: Survivor Perspective on Critical Factors to Return to Work after Stroke
Robert Hartke, Ph.D
Robert Trierweiler, MS, CRC, LCPC
Return to active engagement in life activity in the form of paid employment holds significance as an indicator of recovery for many stroke survivors. Although stroke often affects those at or beyond retirement age, about one-third of stroke survivors are under age 65 years. Many of these younger survivors would like to return to work (RTW) provided they are able and their working environment would support their effort to do so. Also, social and economic trends suggest that a growing number of older stroke survivors may seek to RTW.
The current body of research on RTW after stroke is inconsistent and incomplete in delineating factors important to stroke survivors. Quantitative studies that focus on predictive factors for RTW after stroke lack standardization and provide limited coherent information to facilitate the practice of assisting survivors trying to resume employment. Qualitative studies are rare, especially in the US .
The objective of this project is to more accurately describe the stroke survivor’s perspective on RTW by using deliberately balanced sampling and combining interview and survey data. Verification and elaboration of this unique perspective is accomplished by input from other stakeholders, employers and health care professionals. The multiple phases combine qualitative interviews, survey research, focus groups and public comment through a consensus conference. The ultimate goal of the project is to arrive at a refined set of recommendations to inform stroke survivors, health care professionals and employers and increase their sensitivity to the needs and desires of individuals attempting to RTW after stroke.
Stroke Survivors: Return to Work Research Survey
The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago conducted a survey on return to work after stroke. This survey was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine - STU #44804. It was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. We are currently analyzing the survey results. If you would like to see a copy of the survey please click on the link below.